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1989.12.DD - Rock Scene - Hangin' with Izzy Stradlin

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1989.12.DD - Rock Scene - Hangin' with Izzy Stradlin Empty 1989.12.DD - Rock Scene - Hangin' with Izzy Stradlin

Post by Blackstar on Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:09 pm

1989.12.DD - Rock Scene - Hangin' with Izzy Stradlin 1989_126
1989.12.DD - Rock Scene - Hangin' with Izzy Stradlin 1989_125
1989.12.DD - Rock Scene - Hangin' with Izzy Stradlin 1989_124
1989.12.DD - Rock Scene - Hangin' with Izzy Stradlin 1989_123

Transcript:
----------------

GUNS N' ROSES EXCLUSIVE:
 HANGIN' WITH IZZY STRADLIN
 
by Tom Garcia
 
It’s 12:15 Thursday after­noon and I’m patiently waiting in the Bond Court Hotel lobby for Guns N’ Roses rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin. Both Izzy and vocalist W. Axl Rose agreed to play DJ for a few hours at WCSB in Cleveland.
 
The night before I bumped into Iz­zy, who was sauntering around the Agora Metropolitan Ballroom, soaking in the atmosphere of a near-sold out Ted Nugent concert and the pleasure of a bottled Budweiser beer. Unlike the older, more sophisticated classic rock-preppies, screaming “Free For All” and “Stranglehold,” I immediate­ly recognized the bizarrely dressed guitarist, who wore a Curly Howard derby, a long black trenchcoat, and a tiny silver nose ring in his right nostril. Being the humanitarian, I of­fered to buy the man a few beers, a gesture which was greatly ap­preciated by Mr. Stradlin.
 
The lanky shuffling ex-Hoosier and I made our way to the Agora’s second watering hole, located at the rear of the club where I interrogated the gulping guitarist. He talked about growing up near Indianapolis, the in­famous Bobby Knight, the Indy 500, and how he is looking forward to play­ing Market Square Arena with IRON MAIDEN this summer. Market Square Arena??? Hey Izzy, I wuz there about 10 years ago and saw Matthew Franklin capture the WBC Light Heavyweight title from hometown favorite Marvin Johnson. You know, good ole pops? For over 30 minutes we talked about off-the-wall stuff... episodes from “Lost In Space,” the band’s humongous suc­cess with platinum sales of “Appetite For Destruction,” LA rap rockers THE MENTORS and some of the songs on the GUNS N’ ROSES EP released a few years ago and their recently released EP “Lies.”
 
Because I work third shift I’m forc­ed to leave the concert right in the middle of terrible Ted’s “Free For All,” but not before inviting Izzy and the boys to my radio show the next afternoon. Excited, he readily agrees and scribbles his phone number and room at the hotel.
 
“Call me at 11:15... I’ll definitely come down. Maybe I can get Axl to come down too.” As I leave I notice a mob of people swarming around my new found radio assistant. A tap on the shoulder brings me back to reali­ty. It’s sad-faced Izzy, who regrettably informs me that because of red tape, he’s not allowed to go down to the station. He’s not even allowed to do a phone interview!
 
“It really sucks,” he grimaces. “But I’ll listen to the show and call in some requests.”
 
On the air I blast most of the tracks from “Appetite For Destruction,” with a mixture of U.D.O. and Zodiac Mindwarp. I even introduced some Smashed Gladys. (“I can’t believe that’s a chick singing,” Izzy says.) It is toward the show’s end when Izzy phones in for the umpteenth time.
 
“Awright Hit-Man, let’s do that lit­tle interview, okay?” The phone patch is properly connected and now listeners tuned in within a 45-mile radius of downtown Cleveland will hear the voice of Izzy Stradlin. Six hours later it will be Izzy’s hollow­-bodied guitar talking. Right now, it’s the man’s vocal chords, courtesy of Ma Bell.
 
Izzy my man. Sorry you couldn’t make it down here. How’s the road been treating you?
 
Yeah, I’m sorry too. I was looking forward to spinning some old tunes—you know, the kind of stuff you don’t hear on radio anymore! I guess I’m straddlin across the US of A. Man, that Nugent concert last night was excellent! I couldn’t see that much of it, but it sounded pretty good. I thought Tracii Guns—(Izzy’s good friend and guitarist in LA Guns which opened a few shows for Nugent in the south—Ed.) was gonna be there though. The tour is going great, we’re getting a good response wherever we play. It’s nice to have a day off once in a while. Man, I love hearing all those classic tunes on the radio again, especially that old Accept. I love Accept.

Are you guys really an interviewer’s nightmare?
 
We can be if you put us all in the same room. A lot of interviewers ask us some pretty dumb questions, you know, some really redundant stuff.
 
Tell me a little about the new LP.
 
Well, it’s a lot rougher than we in­tended it to be, and that’s because we didn’t spend a lot of time on it.
 
Just like that supposed acoustic set you guys did in New York. I heard that didn’t go very well for you.
 
Well, we pulled off the acoustic set pretty well. The problems started when we tried to do an electric set afterwards (laughs). It was pretty nuts if you ask me!
 
Is it true that Geffen wanted to drop the band after your initial signing?
 
Yeah, because we took a long time getting produced and all that. There were some complications involved, but once we got into the studio and started making the album, they (Gef­fen) liked what they heard. I told you last night about the money and stuff (how Geffen advanced the band members huge amounts of money— Ed.). They did get rather nervous for a while, and wondered if we were really going to make an album.
 
Touring seems to be the band’s calling card, so to speak.
 
Well, believe it or not, touring is the best thing for us. When I’m at home the thing that gets to me the most is being inactive. You know, just sitting around and doing nothing. We actually had an eight-week break in Los Angeles before we started our tour.
 
I heard that you were slotted to open up for AC/DC, but it didn’t work out. Why?
 
Well, that was actually minor business technicalities. Nothing too serious. We’re going out with Aerosmith throughout Canada, which should be a really great tour. The last time we played in Canada was with The Cult and our album wasn’t even out yet—you know because of the postcard cover (which, they say, depicted a “mechanical” rape scene, hence prompting Geffen to reissue “Appetite for Destruction” with a dif­ferent cover). Now the album is out and we’re looking forward to playing there again. We had a great time in Canada last time. The kids in the au­dience were really great.
 
Too bad Geffen, or WEA, pulled the rape scene cover.
 
I wouldn’t even call it a rape scene, you know? I mean (laughs), how can a robot... (chuckles), aw, forget it!
 
Through all your journeys, Guns N’ Roses always managed to miss Cleveland.
 
You know what? It blew my mind when we went to that concert last night. I took a cab down there and got dropped off in front of the theater, I didn’t see one person hanging around—not one! Then I cruised to the back of the theater and saw all the cars in the parking lot. When i went inside... WOW! Millions of Rock & Roll fans getting into the NUGE!
 
I hope you didn’t have any problems get­ting back to the hotel... downtown Cleveland can be a jungle of sorts.
 
(Laughs) Oh Jesus! When I got dropped off at the hotel, a cop caught me pissing inside the car garage. “What do you think you’re doing,’’ he said. I answered, “What does it look like I’m doing,’’ and I continued piss­ing! So he took me into the lobby. To make matters worse, I lost my room key! But I managed to get back in.
 
Well, at least you got to see Nugent.
 
Oh yeah, that was pretty kick. I couldn’t really make out the sound. I used to listen to Nugent 24 hours a day when I was a kid. You know, “Double Love Gonzo,” “Free for All,” and “Stranglehold”—all that stuff.
 
How long did his version of “Stranglehold” last?
 
You’re asking me? Oh God, I can’t even remember. I wasn’t there mental­ly. I wasn’t paying too much attention.
 
Probably because of all the news I brought ya...
 
Yep, that’s why! It’s all your fault.
 
How are you taking the success? “Ap­petite” is now among Billboard’s Top 10 albums? Did you think it would reach that high?
 
Well, I could care less about Billboard and all those fancy numbers. Numbers don’t tell you if the kids love the music—just that they bought the album. As far as album sales go, we hoped it would go well. We’re very ecstatic that it’s doing well.
 
I mean, look who else is in the top 10—Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Michael Jackson, George Michael... Guns N’ Roses. That’s some pretty stiff competition, wouldn’t you say?
 
I guess if I really think about it, the album’s success is pretty bizarre. A band like ours right up there with those kinds of artists. (Pauses for a few seconds.) Yeah, that is pretty wild.
 
I know that soundcheck is right around the corner (it’s nearing 3 p.m.). What am I and 3,000 screaming maniacs going to see tonight?
 
Unpredictability. I’ll see you there tonight (pauses). And U.D.O. does do “Balls To The Wall.”
 
As Izzy predicted, Guns N’ Roses proceeded to bring the house down in spectacular fashion. I didn’t get to see him backstage (some screw-up with backstage passes no doubt) but we did meet again last summer when the GUNS returned with Aerosmith. And Izzy still owes me a few brews, and I owe him a killer MENTORS tape. Hope we can hook up again!


Last edited by Blackstar on Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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1989.12.DD - Rock Scene - Hangin' with Izzy Stradlin Empty Re: 1989.12.DD - Rock Scene - Hangin' with Izzy Stradlin

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:33 pm

Great to have a new Izzy interview!

The date is December 1989 (?), but the interview took place in May 1988, when the band toured with UDO in Cleveland.
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Post by Blackstar on Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:37 pm

@Soulmonster wrote:Great to have a new Izzy interview!

The date is December 1989 (?), but the interview took place in May 1988, when the band toured with UDO in Cleveland.
The date of the magazine is definitely December 1989 (it's mentioned in the contents page).

I guess it was an old interview the magazine had kept in the "vault".
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Post by Soulmonster on Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:18 pm

@Blackstar wrote:
@Soulmonster wrote:Great to have a new Izzy interview!

The date is December 1989 (?), but the interview took place in May 1988, when the band toured with UDO in Cleveland.

The date of the magazine is definitely December 1989 (it's mentioned in the contents page).

I guess it was an old interview the magazine had kept in the "vault".

Probably. The world was crazy for GN'R in late 1989 (not equally as much in May 1988) so it makes sense they would revive an old story they didn't see fit to print before.
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